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Cecile Raley Designs

On Cutting a Stone: Chronicles of a Tsavorite

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Some of my fellow jewelers have been asked if they cut their own stones.  And a friend of mine once wondered if all the stones I buy are cut specifically for me.  The answer to both questions is “no.”  For one, becoming a lapidary – a stone cutter – takes a lot of practice, and gemstone cutting is best left to those who specialize in it.  Secondly, cutting takes a lot of time (and hence money).  A...

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I like this color – what’s my gem?

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

I know a lot of us women (and some men, even) strive to be color coordinated.  And this puts certain demands on jewelry.  It had better match!  For this reason, and because we all have our favorite colors, I’ve been asked to supply a list of available gemstones by color.  So here’s my shortlist, together with some brief observations about each stone:

Red
1. Garnet: deep red to pinkish red to pink,...

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A word about natural gemstones

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

So I practically got yelled at. This was by a gemstone dealer at a jewelry show last spring, in response to my question about his tourmalines. “All stones are natural. Heated is not the same as treated.”

I had asked if the stones were heated, and that is a legitimate question to ask about tourmalines. Some tourmalines are heated and some aren’t, which affects the price.

Why, then, did my question...

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From Kashmir to Tanzania: How to Pick a Sapphire

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

September is sapphire month, and although I personally think that birthstone jewelry is just a sales trick, I will start my September blog entries by sharing what I know about this blue gem.

Sapphires come from all over the world, but some countries of origin are much more highly prized than others. The most valuable is a Kashmir. I’ve never seen one myself, nor has anyone I know. That’s how rare...

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The story of my emeralds, and how it actually started with a strand of rubies

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

I thought I’d begin this blog by going back a bit – back to my first emeralds and how I went from obsessing about beads to obsessing about cut stones.

Last October, I bought a strand of rubies at the Whole Bead Show in New York. But rubies are tricky business. This strand was particularly glowing and beautiful, as well as particularly well priced, so after I recovered from my initial purchasing...

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